The Rise of Skywalker Filming Locations: The Wadi Rum Desert

The Rise of Skywalker cast
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The saga will finally end with this ninth and final Star Wars movie from the trilogy of trilogies. However, Lucasfilm won't kill the goose that lays the golden eggs yet. More spin-offs like The Mandalorian, an Obi-Wan Kenobi series, a Rogue One prequel series and even a whole new Star Wars trilogy with director Rian Johnson are already being developed.

The cast starring The Rise of Skywalker is led by Daisy Ridley as Rey, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. This had to be the film centered on Carrie Fisher's character, but after her death in 2016, Leia was removed from the final script. Billy Dee Williams is returning to his role as Lando Calrissian 36 years later. The only person to appear in all nine episodes of the Star Wars saga is the android Anthony Daniels (C-3PO).

In terms of filming locations, Star Wars Episode IX is very disappointing compared to its predecessors. The Rise of Skywalker was filmed on location in Wadi Rum, Jordan, and all the rest was shot in England, basically at Pinewood Studios studios.

Where was The Rise of Skywalker filmed?

Ajan Kloss

The scenes of the jungle planet Ajan Kloss, were all filmed in the Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. Film director Kevin Smith was allowed to visit the set, and commented in a show called GMA Day that this is the biggest set he's ever seen in his life. He added that it was like J. J. Abrams was directing a small country. IMDb also reports that the filming took place at Cardington studios located in Bedford. Image courtesy of Lucasfilm


The Rise of Skywalker desert planet
Pasaana is a desert planet (like Tatooine or Jakku), home of the Aki-Aki creatures. Cast and crew spent 3 weeks shooting in Wadi Rum, considered one of the world’s outstanding desert landscapes. It features many photogenic rock formations like the Seven Pillars of Wisdom (although most people can only count five). The famous lost city of Petra is only about two hours driving north from here, and both landmarks are listed in the UNESCO's World Heritage list. Image courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd and Maureen - Map


Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum is also a place full of history: Around a century ago, Lawrence of Arabia led the Bedouin people through this hostile and labyrinthine valley to launch a surprise attack on the Ottoman imperial army. The David Lean 1962 classic film was also shot here. Nowadays Wadi Rum is a very popular tourist spot, where you can stay in a Bedouin camp and enjoy the starry Arabian nights. Just check out the reviews of the place where you are going to sleep, as there are some scams out there looking to take advantage of unwary travellers.
Image courtesy of Sillie R


The Rise of Skywalker location
The area has been used as a filming location several times, most recently in Disney's Aladdin. Some other big productions filmed in Wadi Rum are Rogue One, Ridley Scott's Prometheus, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and The Martian. The magazine Vanity Fair featured a complete and interesting report about the making of The Rise of Skywalker. Image courtesy of Lucasfilm


Der Aufstieg Skywalkers drehort
The scene showing the wreckage of the second Death Star (Return of the Jedi), set the ocean moon of Kef Bir. The sequence, filmed at Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire, contains lots of CGI, with sections looking like the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. Image courtesy of Lucasfilm and Archigeek - Map


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For further information to go behind the scenes, your best companion is the book The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Once released it will include movie sets, stunning concept art, production, and post-production information about Episode IX:

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2 comments
  1. The photo on the hill side at the top of this piece was filmed on Ivinghoe Beacon, Buckinghamshire late August 2018 - we were camping on a farm about a mile away and could see the set. They were filming for about 3 days.

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